Braves Star Ronald Acuña Jr. Wins NL MVP, Validating Iconic 40–70 Year After Postseason Failure

Published 11/16/2023, 8:27 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

After MLB records are set, MVP awards usually follow. The star outfielder of the Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuña Jr. proves this once again. After a tough fight with Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, Acuña Jr. finally won his career-first NL MVP award.

The postseason ended too early for the Atlanta Braves, who lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS. Surprisingly, so did the Dodgers, but each nominated player’s performance from March to September was near perfect. No defeat could suppress the iconic record of the team’s star slugger, who was awarded the highest individual honor on Thursday.

Ronald Acuña Jr. Wins Career First MVP Award


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The fight was intense between the two-star players, but the contributions of Acuña Jr. surpassed all. This season, the Braves star has made MLB history as the only player to hit 40 home runs and steal 70 bases in a single season. The achievement paid off as he became the National League’s Most Valuable Player! To sweeten the pot, the star outfielder won it unanimously. Acuna received all 30 first-place votes to add the prestigious honor to his achievement list.


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Finishing an outstanding season with an average of .337/.416/.596, Acuna had 217 hits, 149 runs, 106 RBI, and 41 home runs. However, this award has indexed him to the elite list of Braves players to have NL MVP. Acuna Jr. is the fifth player of the Braves to have the honor since they started playing in Atlanta. But in the Braves’ entire history, he becomes the eighth player to have it. The last player who received this award was Freddie Freeman, who won it as part of the World Series champion Braves team in 2020.

After the results were declared, the 25-year-old hitter shared his views on the iconic win. With the help of his interpreter, he said, “From the day that I got to the league, I always knew I wanted to win the MVP.” Per him, it’s like a dream moment for him. The interpreter revealed, “It was always a dream of mine, and I’m living a dream come true.”

What a historic offseason this has been and not just for the NL.


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Acuna and Ohtani Set New Milestone Since MVP Voting Began

Be it the AL or NL, the MVPs of this season won unanimously. The MLB world has never witnessed both the MVPs get 30 first-place winning votes before. Both AL and NL MVP winners achieve the trophies without opposition. This year’s voting marked the first time since balloting began in 1931 that the NL and AL winners won unanimously.


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Since the Baseball Writers’ Association of America started conducting the voting process, only 21 players have won the MVP awards unanimously, and Shohei Ohtani is the first player who did it twice. A true baseball unicorn!

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Written by:

Antara Bhattacharyya


One take at a time

Antara Bhattacharyya is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. With a graduation degree in English literature from a reputed institution, she has been actively involved in content writing for quite some time. Her love for sports writing dates back to her college days, and today, she has cemented her place with astute coverage of Major League Baseball.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot